I have always been somewhat of an ‘entrepreneur’ without actually knowing it, per se. As it turns out, ‘creating stuff’ – creating something from nothing – has always fascinated me. Even thinking of stuff to create has intrigued me.
In my early thirties I would upon occasion, find myself in a dark, smokey VFW bar somewhere. Wonder how I got there? Often on the row of stools would be a row of fools (stole this line from “Pop A Top,” Jim Ed Brown…), including my self! Once I heard these two “rum-dumbs” (as Dear Ole Dad often referred to these guys as) in deep conversation. They were both sitting there, each with cigarette in one hands and a half glass of beer in the other.
“You know Charlie, that idea (whatever it was) would have worked!” one guy proclaimed to the other.
“Gawd-damned right it would have…” replied Charlie. And so opened the conversation about an idea that surfaced, then died, because it wasn’t followed through upon. I don’t know why, but I would rather fall on my ass trying an idea, than find myself explaining to some other rum-dumb about my good idea – and how it “could have” worked.
Since I have retired from the Air Force, I have formed 3 businesses: ORF Enterprises, BratPin, Inc. and VetCards, LLC.
ORF (Old Retired ‘Fella’) Enterprises was a company wherein I designed and sold Air Force Pilot Flying Log Books first, then gravitated to military scrapbooks. It did all right, but not as well as it could have, had I recognized the need for “marketing.”
BratPin, Inc. formed last September (2013) has done fantastic. This is a “non-profit” company I formed to sell lapel pins, and other products to recognize and honor military kids – Military Brats. (See: www.bratpin.com) In just over the 6 months it has been operating, I have sold over $19,000 of BratPin products! And this is promoting almost exclusively through Facebook.
The VetCard LLC. venture is just about to get off the ground. It is a business that recognizes Veterans in the form of ‘trading cards.’ Novel idea, ain’t it? It will be curious to see where it goes… (See: http://www.workandplaytradingcards.com/build-a-card.html)
I have not “succeeded” with every venture I have attempted; but neither have I failed with them. Some have just done better than others. I think my key in creating a venture is recognizing the need for the product. I tend to ask myself, “Is this something I would like?”
Then I ask myself, “Is this something I can afford to do myself, without ‘outside’ financial support?” Being a successful, educated white guy makes it hard to get a government loan. (Truth hurts, doesn’t it Mr. Government Bureaucrat!)
And finally I ask myself, “Is this something I want to do?” I don’t always implement my “good ideas.” Not because they are necessarily “bad ideas,” but I just may not be interested in pursuing the idea at the time.
I once came up with an idea to create a “Baby Boomer Number” for all of us Baby Boomers (See: https://www.lonelypilotbob.com/?p=2317). Then Dennis took the idea to fruition (See: http://www.mybabyboomernumber.com/) I sure wish him well – it’s a great idea! LMAO!
Another idea I have toyed with is creating custom-made Bullshit Flags. Small little flags that you could pull out and wave when appropriate – like at staff meetings, political gatherings, school board meetings, divorce hearings, etc. You wouldn’t ever have to get “vocal” with anything anymore – just sit there and calmly wave your Bullshit flag! The idea still holds appeal for me…may look into it further, who knows?
I think, in the end, “fear” is the only thing that holds us back. Fear of failing. Well screw it – I might just learn something from failing… like not to do that again! LOL!
So, if you have a good idea, and have really thought it through, “Go For It!” And, have FUN with it; otherwise, why do it?